It was a showstopper of a “jolly holiday” for Mary Poppins Returns star Emily Blunt, as she found herself in the middle of a Backstreet Boys singalong during a surprising appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Blunt noted that despite signing on to play Mary Poppins in the new Disney sequel Mary Poppins Returns, she still has reservations about singing.
“I think it’s still not a natural thing for me. I find it very nerve-wracking to sing in front of people,” she said to the talk show host. Despite this, DeGeneres gamely handed Blunt a microphone and asked her to sing during her show appearance.
Entertainment Tonight reported that Blunt begrudgingly approached her microphone and said, “I just feel a bit exposed.”
To help her out, DeGeneres introduced The Backstreet Boys to provide some much-desired backup for Blunt, who then declared of her task, “Now I can do it!”
The group sang a verse from their hit song, “I Want It That Way.”
Blunt then exclaimed of the group, “You left me alone and you weren’t supposed to!” playfully shoving band member Nick Carter.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Blunt stated during her Ellen appearance that that she was “completely shocked and slightly terrified” when she received a call from director Rob Marshall telling her she was his only choice to in the sequel and that when she told a friend she was taking on the iconic character, her friend told her she had to have “balls of steel” to do it.
She co-stars in the remake of the 1964 film that starred Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke alongside Van Dyke, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, and Colin Firth.
Set in 1935 London, 25 years after the events of the original film, it sees Poppins, the former nanny of Jane and Michael Banks, returning after a family tragedy. Mary Poppins Returns has one of the longest gaps between live-action film sequels in history at 54 years noted the site Birmingham Live.
The director of the film, Rob Marshall, noted that although Van Dyke appeared in the new film, there is a reason Julie Andrews was not included in the sequel. Andrews played the character in the iconic original film.
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Marshall told Entertainment Weekly, “Julie will always be, for me and for everybody, the most astonishing performance as Mary Poppins, winning the Oscar and bursting onto the scene so brilliantly. But Emily is the perfect person to carry the torch, and I know Julie feels the exact same way. She loves her.”
“She said, ‘This is Emily’s show, and I really want it to be Emily’s show. I don’t want it to be, “Oh, here comes that Mary Poppins. “‘I don’t want that. I really want her to take this and run with it because she will be brilliant,'” he explained of his conversation with the film legend.
Mary Poppins Returns will hit theaters on December 19, just in time for the holiday season.